Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto pitches for re-engagement with India

Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto pitches for re-engagement with India
File Photo of Pakistan's Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Thursday made a strong pitch for re-engaging with India, saying cutting ties with New Delhi would not serve the country’s interests as Islamabad was already internationally isolated and disengaged.

Addressing the Founding Day ceremony at the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad, Bilawal said: We have our issues with India. Pakistan and India have a long history of war, conflict. Today, where we have serious disputes, the events of August 2019 cannot be taken lightly.

Bilawal, 33, assumed charge as Pakistan’s top diplomat in April.

Bilawal asked those present at the think tank event whether cutting ties with India was serving Pakistan’s interests, be it on Kashmir, be it on the rising Islamophobia or the emphasis on Hindutva narrative in India.

“That I, as foreign minister of Pakistan, as the representative of my country, not only don’t speak to the Indian government but I also don’t speak to the Indian people. Is that the best way to communicate or achieve Pakistan’s objective? the minister said.

He said that the country was at its crossroads and the current government has inherited a country “wherever you look there is a crisis.”

He blamed the previous Imran Khan-led government’s flawed policies because of which Pakistan “is internationally isolated and internationally disengaged.”

Turning to the issue of bilateral trade with India, Bilawal said: “We don’t have a trading relationship with the east (India) and many will argue absolutely we should not. The environment is not as such, given these outrageous assaults on our principles it would be inappropriate for Pakistan to take such a step.”

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